Ken’s win means he is changing lives
Just before Christmas 2016, Ken Wedgeworth from Derbyshire saw his EuroMillions ticket deliver £1M. He matched the Millionaire Maker code and immediately banked a life changing fortune. Stunned at the time, he said he would use his win to help others. Six months on we caught up with Ken to discover what he has done.
It was Ken’s 35 years in the British Army as an engineer that has defined how he is spending his amazing win. The retired Sergeant-Major says he saw both “good and bad” during his service, but spent plenty of time helping communities across the globe.
He said, “It was the Army but a lot of the work was humanitarian, helping others. Seeing death, poverty, disease but also amazing cultures, friendship and happiness helped me understand my responsibilities in life and now with this money I can help even more people.
Turning on taps
Ken is using some of his winnings to help two issues close to his heart having been stationed a number of times in Africa. “I have seen, especially in Africa, huge problems with a lack of clean drinking water and have always actively given to the charity Wateraid.
“We turn the tap on and out flows endless amounts of clean drinking water. We wash the dishes and clean our clothes inside machines…many millions wash their pots, pans and clothes in disease infested rivers and pools. I have increased my support for Wateraid and hope my little bit will make a difference.”
The gift of eyesight
Ken talks emotionally about a common problem in Africa – eye disease. “I saw heart-breaking scenes again in Africa especially of children with eye diseases such as river blindness. Eyesight is a gift and should be cherished.
“And it wasn’t just the young - older but still relatively young adults are also in desperate need for cataract operations. I will never meet these people but I can rest easy that I have helped hundreds.”
Life changing treats
Ken has also treated himself to make his life easier. A move from a two-up, two-down into a bungalow has made a big difference due to mobility problems. He is also preparing to visit two places he has always dreamed of. “I have bought a cruise to the Northern Lights and I hope to travel to St Petersburg. These are two places I never travelled to in the Army and having spent most of my time in the Forces during the Cold War, Russia was out of the question. My only other purchase is a pair of shoes.”
The six months since his win Ken is now able to see and appreciate the real differences his piece of luck has made. “I am more relaxed in life with no money worries but helping others and making a difference is what this win really means to me. I have been lucky in life, but I am also lucky enough to be able to help people and put a smile on lots of faces throughout the world.”